At the time of its release, much was made of the fact that Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos produced Citizens!' debut album Here We Are. While his sleek aesthetic helps make the album as stylish as a Kitsune release should be, these songs show that this band is not a clone of Kapranos' group. For starters, singer Tom Burke's tremulous tenor is worlds away from Kapranos' baritone, and the character of his voice helps Citizens! channel Bowie, Suede, and Sparks over the course of Here We Are. Granted, "Reptile"'s propulsive thrust bears a passing resemblance to Franz Ferdinand's drama-laden dance-punk, but Burke and company are much more of a pop band than that outfit, and proud of it. Fittingly, Here We Are's most memorable moments are its singles, especially "True Romance," which grows from a jaunty keyboard riff into something fairly momentous, and "Caroline," with its rushing keyboards and infectious refrain "we started making sense/we never made any sense." Other standouts include the melodramatic sweep of "Let's Go All the Way" and the cheekily robotic new wave of "(I'm In Love with Your) Girlfriend." Even the songs that aren't as completely successful as Here We Are's highlights have something to recommend them, whether it's "Love You More"'s vaguely tropical/tribal beat, the tumbling choruses on "Nobody's Fool," or the spacey atmosphere on "I Wouldn't Want To." All in all, Here We Are is a promising debut, and Citizens! manage the impressive feat of borrowing from lots of different eras -- '70s glam, '80s synth pop, '90s Brit-pop -- without drowning in nostalgia.
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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares